Earlier this year, seasoned sports executive, attorney, entrepreneur, and business leader Erik Moses joined the Fiesta Bowl as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer after building successful ventures for sports and entertainment properties across the country for the past two decades.
Leading up to this year’s Vrbo Fiesta Bowl—which will be held Jan. 1, 2024 at State Farm Stadium—we caught up with Moses to share a little more about himself, as well as everything you never knew about one of Arizona’s biggest and best annual events.
The Fiesta Bowl is more than just a game. Tell our readers what this means.
At the heart of the Fiesta Bowl Organization is a simple mission—to support organizations that contribute to the success of their communities through youth, sports, and education. We accomplish this through our live events including our two annual bowl games in the Valley, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl and the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, as well as our upcoming Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe and community events throughout the year. We are proud to have been able to donate millions of dollars in charitable giving to charities and teachers across the state while shining a spotlight on all that state of Arizona offers to drive tourism and economic impact. In the past year alone, we have positively impacted $1 million Arizonans through youth programming, sports programming, educational programming, and grant funding.
What are some of this year’s primary festivities?
Bowl Season is rapidly approaching, and we couldn’t be more excited!
Kicking off Bowl Season is the 51st edition of the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe, taking place on Sat., Dec. 16 starting at 10 a.m. General admission is free and reserved grandstand tickets are available starting at $30 [available here]. With a theme of Spirit of Competition, our Grand Marshals are former Arizona State University and NFL quarterback Jake Plummer and former Moon Valley High School, University of Arizona, and NBA standout Richard Jefferson.
After you spend the holidays with family and friends, we invite you all to huddle up with us at the Guaranteed Rate Bowl in downtown Phoenix on Tues. Dec. 26, at Chase Field for Bowl Season’s only matchup of teams from the Big 12 and Big 10 Conferences.
Culminating the season and starting off the New Year right is the 53rd Annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl on Mon., Jan. 1, 2024, at State Farm Stadium. We’ll have two of the nation’s highly-ranked teams squaring off to start 2024 in style.
All bowl matchups will be revealed on Sun., Dec. 3, following the regular season and conference championship games.
Last month, the Fiesta Bowl gave $1.25 million to Arizona teachers. Which program is this?
In its annual tradition to honor, support, and celebrate Arizona’s educators, Fiesta Bowl Charities granted $2,500 each to 500 teachers during the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers Draft Day presented by SRP, for a total of $1.25 million. The funding will positively impact more than 220,000 students across 73 cities and towns statewide, with 368 different schools receiving grant awards. Over the eight years of the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers, the program has awarded approximately $7 million to more than 2,100 educators, impacting over 920,000 students statewide.
What that been your favorite Fiesta Bowl game to date as a spectator and why?
The Fiesta Bowl that I remember the most clearly is in 1996 when Tommie Frazier ran for a 75-yard touchdown against Florida. I remember when he broke that run and thinking to myself ‘How many tackles is he going to break?’ And, of course, there was Boise State upsetting the Power 5 bluebloods from Oklahoma. The game had everything—the big plays, the trick plays, the back-and-forth changes in scoring and a marriage proposal.
What are some fun facts about the Fiesta Bowl that people might not know?
We are a Bowl of Firsts. The Fiesta Bowl was the first Bowl game to have a corporate title sponsor. We were also the first to create and stage a National Championship game in 1987 by pairing #1 Miami against #2 Miami; have an African American board chair; have a female board chair; host an e-sports event; and the first to partner in sports betting.
Tell us something interesting about you outside of work and your Fiesta Bowl role …
Food, family, friends, and fun! At this point in my life, I like to spend time with people I love and people who care about me. People who want to have fun. It doesn’t have to be anything special, but just be around people who I like to laugh, have good food and tell stories with. I am a foodie and living here in the Southwest gives me great opportunity to enjoy a new type of cuisine and I’m taking advantage of that.